At the recent Hong Kong Smart Design Awards, we spoke to Wholly Wholly’s creative director, Westley Wong, about his Gold Award-winning lamp, and his other meaningful projects and the way they pay homage to Hong Kong.
A well-known lecturer at multiple institutes in Hong Kong, Westley Wong co-founded his branding agency, Wholly Wholly, in 2017 along with industrial designer, Felix Tsoi. They have worked with popular brands including Adidas, Rimowa, and Ebay, to create marketing and branding content for their product launches. Pushed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the pair shifted their focus and developed the product design branch of their agency: Recraft– redefining the traditional craftsmanship industry of Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong craftsmanship industry used to be very well established in the 70s and 80s, but as Hong Kong became more economically and business focused, the once beloved artistry is now endangered. Wanting to support local manufacturers, Westley takes his inspiration from the beauty of Hong Kong. Making use of the skills he learned overseas, and incorporating aesthetics and smart design with local craftsmanship, Westley’s products provide more than just functionality. With this “new blood” Westley hopes his designs will present to the world the spirit of what it means to be made in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Smart Design Awards 2021 Home Decor and Plant Care Gold Award Winner
Winning the 2021 Hong Kong Smart Design Awards Gold Prize in their “Home Decor and Plant Care” design category, Wholly Wholly’s “Number 2” creatively uses a traditional Hong Kong product in a modern way, repurposing it for home use. The red lamp shades used in Hong Kong’s wet markets are an iconic staple, with the warm tone designed to make food look even more appetising. To fit in with modern society, Westley repurposed this lamp shade so we can all have a piece of iconic Hong Kong in our homes and office spaces. The lamp shades are coloured matte black for a minimalistic, futuristic, and high quality finishing, that will fit in with different backdrops and locations. Besides the aesthetics of the piece, the lamp shade and tone can also be adjusted.
記昌劉 Lau Cheong Kee [Bamboo Toothbrush]
Lau Cheong Kee has manufactured toothbrushes and industrial brushes since the 50s in Mainland China, but moved their factory to Hong Kong in the 60s during the cultural revolution. Their toothbrushes are very traditional in design, appealing mainly to the elderly of Hong Kong. Wanting to add a modern twist to Lau Cheong Kee’s toothbrush and to market to a wider audience, Wholly Wholly came up with the idea of using biodegradable materials like bamboo for the brush handle whilst maintaining the factory’s use of natural bristles, thus rebranding the Lau Cheong Kee toothbrush. Through these changes, the toothbrush is now fully biodegradable and is a sustainable alternative to traditional plastic toothbrushes, and also preserves traditional Hong Kong artistry in its design.
Every year, around 1.1 billion umbrellas are either thrown away or lost. To prevent any more lost umbrellas, Wholly Wholly designed a high-quality smart umbrella. The umbrella has a built in bluetooth system which is connected through an app, so that if you are more than a couple feet away from your umbrella, it will send out a notification and produce a beeping noise. Like all of Recraft’s products, the umbrella is produced by a local manufacturer. Greatly reducing the chance of losing your umbrella through its smart technology and unique design, @PARASOL is a worthy investment or meaningful gift.
Wholly Wholly injects different features and values into each of their products’ designs. For their lamp, they added a technological concept through its adjustable shade and warmth. Since the production cost is relatively low for bamboo toothbrushes, they were able to manipulate their product to fit current sustainability trends. Their smart umbrella is the perfect fusion of technology and traditional craftsmanship.
Westley shared that in the future, Wholly Wholly will be launching a collaborative fashion brand with the last clothing manufacturer in Hong Kong, which will be coming out later this year. Be sure to follow Wholly Wholly for more innovative smart designs, which are available for purchase at nowloading.online.
Intrapreneurial Insights: An Interview With Martin Daffner, Founder & CEO of Innobrix